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King to attend Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague

By Raed Omari - Mar 16,2014 - Last updated at Mar 16,2014

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah will head the Jordanian delegation participating in the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), which will be held later this month in the Netherlands.

During a press conference on Sunday, Dutch Ambassador to Jordan Paul van den IJssel said that Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and Jordan’s permanent representative to the UN, HH Prince Zeid, will join the Kingdom’s delegation to the third high-profile NSS, which will be held in The Hague March 24 and 25 with the participation of 54 world leaders.

His Majesty will be a guest of Dutch King Willem-Alexander, the ambassador said.

The summit was first initiated by US President Barack Obama, who, in a speech delivered in 2009 in Prague, described nuclear terrorism as one of the greatest threats to international security and called for joint international efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism by agreeing on specific points to help achieve nuclear security. 

The first NSS meeting was held in Washington, DC in 2010. The second was hosted by Seoul in 2012. The Hague’s meeting also comes at Obama’s request, the ambassador said.  

The NSS, IJssel said, responds to growing awareness of the risk that non-state actors and terrorist groups might acquire weapons-usable fissile material.

The ambassador explained that after the Soviet Union’s fall, some groups managed to put their hands on hazardous nuclear material.

“It never happened that a terrorist group obtained nuclear materials but if it happens, the consequences will be catastrophic,” the diplomat said.

According to pamphlets distributed during the presser, the third NSS summit faces two main challenges: the availability of nuclear material in the past decades and the lack of strong international laws that can increase security on such hazardous material. 

Both summits that already took place came up with joint agreements, the ambassador said, expressing hope that the 2014 NSS summit in The Hague could also result in a world declaration on nuclear security. 

During the Washington summit, participants came up with the “Washington Work Plan”, which included a global agreement to improve security of nuclear material. The South Korea summit came up with the “Seoul Communiqué” that included new measures regarding nuclear safety.

According to The Hague conference’s literature,  the main priorities of NSS summit this year are defined as: strengthening the international legal regime through bringing the amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material into force, improving nuclear security assurances and broadening the NSS process to address radioactive material and military sources of nuclear material in addition to nuclear fissile material emphasised in the 2010 and 2012 summits.

According to the Dutch embassy, The Hague NSS meeting will be the largest summit ever held in the Netherlands, where 54 heads of state and government will attend the meeting, along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and concerned international agencies and blocs. 

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